HEALTH CENTER

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Testosterone and You by Frank Garcia

Frankie-forwebTestosterone is produced in both men and women. It is best known as the hormone that drives reproductive function, but this hormone also has other equally important tasks. Testosterone helps to regulate muscle mass, bone density, and hair growth in both genders. It can also affect mood, energy levels, and libido in both sexes. Testosterone peaks every morning in men and begins to decrease after age 30.  For women, testosterone peaks monthly between day 8 and 13 of the menstrual cycle and remains at its highest levels during their twenties. Testosterone can also peak later in women’s lives if treated with hormone replacement therapy.

There are few ways to naturally increase testosterone production, but the most effective method is to include foods rich in protein and zinc into a daily diet; this will increase testosterone levels by stimulating aromatase. Aromatase is the enzyme that converts testosterone to estradiol, which influences reproductive and sexual functioning.  Oysters, fish, and beef are high in protein and fiber, however beef with rBST (bovine somatotropin) should be avoided. It is a low-grade beef treated with modified estrogen which acts as a synthetic growth hormone. If the beef on the menu isn’t certified organic or certified prime, order the fish.

In addition to meats, there are also vegetables that promote healthy testosterone levels.  Cruciferous vegetables, Latin term for plants that bear leaves in a cross formation, contain the compound diindolylmethane; it assists the body in shedding excess estrogen. Some cruciferous vegetables include kale, broccoli, watercress, and Swiss chard. These plants are also rich in dietary fiber and have a low glycemic index, meaning they promote gastrointestinal well-being and will not spike insulin levels.

Physical activity incorporating weight training, compound exercises or a low-repetition workout associated with healthy weight gain will not only increase strength but contribute to an increase in testosterone levels.  Exercise ultimately promotes healthy hormone balance by keeping body fat down and reducing stress.

Consulting a physician regarding testosterone levels is the first measure of action that should be taken.  After, the physician can order testing to determine if the testosterone level is off-balance. In some cases bio identical hormone replacement therapy may be recommended and may be administered in the form of an injection, cream/gel, or tablets.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.